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DIY Racerback T-shirt Dress

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I transformed an oversized tee into a DIY racerback t-shirt dress. Follow along for a complete tutorial to make a dress without a pattern that features a sleek racerback cutout.

Experience the proud moment when you share your reconstruction design with others. Give it a try, and explore these t-shirt to dress tutorials today!

DIY racerback t-shirt dress before and after

There are so many t-shirt upcycle ideas for you to attempt. Start with this DIY racerback t-shirt dress and test your refashion skills.

Take on a new challenge and learn how to do easy DIY fashion projects with me. Understand the fundamentals of a useful skills when you pursue upcycled clothing as a hobby.

T shirt To Dress (5 DIY T shirt Dress Upcycle Projects)

In the before and after pic, you can see how the oversized tee really helped to contribute to the A-line dress shape. Tighten up the top bodice, but take advantage of that extra material when shaping the dress.

The main focus for this dress is the sleeveless top bodice. I took the opportunity to spice it up the style a little bit by adding ruffles along the racerback and armholes. The ruffles add a really cute touch to the racerback look.

DIY racerback t-shirt dress back view showing off the racerback design with ruffles

The A-line dress silhouette adds flow to the dress bottom and also showcases a tasteful style that really balances out the overall look. 

I’m super excited with how this DIY racerback t-shirt dress and how it turned out. The ruffles help to cover the tops of the shoulders a little bit, but also allows the dress to maintain a sleeveless silhouette over the arms.

Wear this dress as is, or even throw a denim jacket over your shoulders for a more casual look. As a result, this style is really fun to wear for a variety of occasions.

DIY racerback t-shirt dress sideview
Yield: 1 Racerback T-shirt Dress

DIY Racerback T-shirt Dress

Prep Time: 1 hour
Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Beginner
Estimated Cost: $5.00

I’m super excited how this ruffled racerback t-shirt dress turned out. The dress covers the tops of the shoulders a little bit, but maintains a sleeveless silhouette over the arms.

The ruffles add a cute detail to the racerback. Wear this dress as it is, or even throw a denim jacket over for a more casual look.


  • Oversized T-shirt


  • Sewing Machine
  • Fabric Chalk
  • Measuring Tape
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Straight Pins


  1. For the top bodice, flip the t-shirt inside out and fold in half. Use your favorite crewneck shirt to trace the measurement for the top bodice of the dress. Copy the armhole and shoulder seam. Add ¼” seam allowance, and then cut.
    Measure and mark the A-line silhouette for the dress using fabric chalk.
  2. Use a ruler to draw a straight line from the under armhole to the hemline. Add ¼” seam allowance and cut.
    Cut along the marked line to remove excess fabric
  3. For the racerback, measure across from the middle of the armhole. Mark 3” away from both sides.
    Helpful hint: My width was originally 12”. Therefore, the racerback measurement ended up being 6” wide.
    Measure across the back shoulders to determine the width of the racerback.
  4. Draw a smooth curve from the shoulder to the 3” mark and then back to the under the armhole. Cut along the chalk mark for the back piece only.
    Measure and mark the racerback design, then cut along the line.
  5. To make the ruffles, use the discarded sleeves. Cut open the side seams, then measure 1” from the hemline on both sides and chalk mark. Measure 3 ½” from the center of the sleeve and chalk mark again.
    Use the discarded sleeves to make the racerback ruffles.
  6. Draw a smooth curved line to connect the marks. Add ¼” seam allowance and cut. Then, copy the ruffle piece for the sleeve pattern on the other side.
    Draw the ruffles with fabric chalk and then cut along the line.
  7. For shirring the ruffles, use loose tension and wide stitch width to ⅛” topstitch. Evenly distribute the hand shirring to finish the 12” long ruffles.
    Add shirring to the racerback ruffles.
  8. To finish both side seams, close with ¼” topstitch.
  9. To attach the ruffles, measure 3 ½” down from the front neckband and mark. Match the end of the ruffle piece to the chalk mark and sew ¼” topstitch along the armhole.
    Attach the ruffles to the racerback
  10. To finish the under armhole of the dress, simply fold one time and edge topstitch completely around the armhole and also over the ruffles.
    Sewing tip: This will help the ruffles to stay positioned and also prevent flipping while wearing.
    Finished diy racerback t-shirt dress with ruffles.


An oversized tee works best for this design in order to maintain the A-line silhouette.

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How to make a DIY racerback t-shirt dress from a tee. Step-by-step photos of each part of the process

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